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Charlie Rose

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

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Ohio 7, Sandy 7, Virginia 6, Florida 3, Us 3, Iowa 3, Colorado 3, Charlie 3, New York City 2, America 2, Washington 2, Bloomberg 2, Gallup 2, North Carolina 2, Halperin 2, Staley 2, John Kerry 2, United States 2, John Mccain 2, David Brooks 2,
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  PBS    Charlie Rose    News/Business.   
   (2012)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 31, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PDT  

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the sights and sounds of hurricane sandy as recorded on cbs this morning. >> you hoped it wasn't going to be this bad, much of the east coast is waking up to see the full devastation of super storm sandy. we knew this was going to be a very dangerous storm and the storm has met our expectations. >> con ed says this is the single largest storm related outage in its history. >> we are very much looking for where we should put our resources. >> new york university medical center had to he advantage crate. >> when i got there and it was an extraordinary scene and the stakes could not have been higher. >> caused damage throughout the entire new jersey coast. >> half a day later it is still not over yet. we are in the midst of rescuing hundred of people and i think the east jersey shore took it in the neck, worse than any other state. >> hurricane force winds pounded ocean city maryland and they
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said all along their biggest worry by far is flooding. >> this is what you get on the flip side of hurricane sandy, snow. >> and it hasn't stopped all night. >> the storm has caused the cancellation of 14,000 flights across the country. >> do we know how this storm may affect vote something. >> this is a frantic time for both campaigns to a pause is something they want to get over with fast. >> hopefully your thoughts and prayers will join with mine, to think about those folks who are in harm's way. a. great thing about america iss like this, we all stick together, the good news is we will clean up and we will get through this. >> we turn now to politics with mark halperin of time magazine, who is also the best selling author of game change. >> if this storm hadn't happened we would be seeing wall-to-wall coverage of one of the most exciting finishes to a presidential election in the television age. we are not going to see as much of that, certainly through the weekend. which means whichever candidate
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was going to benefit more from national coverage is going to lose paired to what it would have been like. >> rose: we conclude this evening, focusing on politics with nate silver, founder of "the new york times" blog 538.com. >> i mean ohio is a swing state for a reason, is that it resembles the united states, rural areas and suburban areas, you could certainly have a case where romney wins the popular vote by one point and obama wins ohio and iowa by one point that is possible, maybe a one or two-point shift but there is almost no way to look at the history of this country or try to do the more complex things, the mathematical models unlikely to have romney win the popular and have him lose the electorial college. >> rose: the sites and sounds of hurricane sandy, mark halperin and nate silver when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
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additional funding provided by these funders. and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> hurricane sandy barreled through the northeast last night, the devastating impact was wide-ranging, cities and towns were hammered by the storm that left many without power and other vital resources. here are some of the sights and sound of the storm as scene on cbs this morning. we knew this was going to be a very dangerous storm and the storm has met our expectations. >> it is underassess right now. >> storm of the century. >> sandy slams into the northeast. >> leaving willsout power. >> the death toll is now at least 18. >> damage estimates are in the billions up and down the east coast. >> water rushing into the battery tunnel as well as parts of lower manhattan. >> massive fair has already destroyed dozens of homes in queens. >> nyu hospital forced to
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evacuate. >> everybody is rolling up their sleeves and pitching in. >> wiping out a huge portion of the city's boardwalk. >> a giant crane snapped that is still dangling over the streets of new york city. >> entire at that sad of a building crashed into the street. >> oh, my gosh. >> we had set up offices inside a restaurant, police officer came by and told us we had to get out of there. >> after that, the building collapsed into the sea. >> first of all, thanks for that. >> you're welcome. >> mechanic the coast guard rescued 14 crew members from the hms bounty. >> one crew member is still missing. >> the super storm is not just bringing rain dumping up to three feet of snow in three states, west virginia bearing the brunt of it. >> a travel nightmare all up and down the east coast. >> airports closed. >> is regis going to be able to go home? you heard from the mayor who said a number of people haven't left, that worries them. >> joggers wearing a horse mask.
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>> i am hot quite sure what that is all about. >> i was conceived during hurricane hazel. >> and all that matters -- >> hopefully your thoughts and friars will join with mine as you think about those folks who are in harm's way. >> we will get through this. >> on cbs this morning. we felt like we would be putting the audience at jeopardy if they had to sit through the show and i said hell we have been doing that for 30 years. >> look out! >> 30 years. >> come in, come in. >> thank you. hello. >> sandy's impact may be altering the presidential campaign which is one week to election day, president obama d governor romney canceled rallies and stump speeches on monday and tuesday. yesterday, president obama spoke from the white house briefing room. >> i am not worried at this point about the impact on the election, i am worried about the impact on families and worried about the impact on our first responders, i am worried about the impact on our economy. and on transportation. you know, the election will take care of itself next week. >> and here is what governor
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romney said. >> on the eastern coast of our nation, a lot of people are enduring some very difficult times. >> and our hearts and our prayers go to them as we think about how tough it is going to be there. i don't think there has been a hurricane in ohio in a long time. but there have been some hurricanes that have caused a lot of damage across this country and hurt a lot of families and their families are in harm's ways that will be hurt either in their possessions or perhaps even something more severe. >> we have faced these kind of challenges before and as we have, it is good to see how americans come together and this looks like another time when we need to come together, all across the country, even here in ohio and make sure we give of our support of the people who need it. >> rose: several national polls have the president and governor romney in a virtual dead heat coming down the stretch, some others have different results when you look at the swing states, joining me now is mark halperin of time magazine, i am pleased to have him the here once more at this table. so where are we?
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>> well, if the election -- you know, i think the most important thing is we don't really know what is going to happen, the race is close enough nationally in the battle ground states even before the storm there were enough variables that one can most comfortably and accurately say we will go into election day not knowing. even if the polls go one way i would not have great confidence that would foretell what the outcome is going to be. >> rose: are there things this storm and the aftermath might affect that would have a direct relationship to what happens at the polls? >> i think will be the loss of life and loss of property is foremost in everybody's minds and one of the great things about these two candidate is, it is not just a throw away line to say the president's top concern and governor romney's top concern is really trying to show sympathy for and in the case of the president directly help those who have been affected where we are right now based on the scale of the storm, the power outages, which areas of the country are affected, i actually, while i could make up
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reasons why i could help one guy or the other wrong it is going to have that big of an impact on the outcome of the race. the two biggest things are the president is going to lose two or three or perhaps more days of campaigning, i am not sure that is that big of a deal at this point. >> rose: not only that -- bill clinton is out there as the surrogate. >> and he has his campaign apparatus and advertising and the ground game. news coverage will be affected if this storm hadn't happened we would see wall-to-wall coverage of one of the most exciting punishes to a presidential election in a television age we won't see as much of that, certainly through the weekend which means whichever candidate was going to benefit more from national coverage is going to lose compared to what it would have been like, i am not sure which candidate that was going to be. >> rose: exactly right. >> in the states which matter, particularly ohio which continues to be really the key to the election,here is going to be plenty of coverage, they were not that affected by the storm, with all due respect to the sympathies and empathy of the people of ohio i think they are going to be more focused on the presidential election, in the northeast there are a lot
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more focus on the storm and really only one or two battle ground states truly impacted by the storm, virginia and new hampshire, perhaps, and i think even in those states politics for the last 72 hours willing a big deal. >> rose: okay. let me talk about a number of things, first of all, if high owe is crucial, and high owe is seen to represent the nation as microcosm of the nation because of its make-up, and the national poll is here why isn't ohio just like the national poll? >> well, it is maybe the biggest question of the race. there are several reasons. one is, the auto bailout and even though we have seen governor romney with a new ad try to be more aggressive on this issue it is clear that in in ohio and michigan governor romney's position on the auto bailout and relentless advertising and rhetoric the president's side is engaged in has hurt him with the people, connected to the auto industry. second, ohio is a pretty populist state, a pretty
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anti-wall street state, and governor's romney position in a state that is worried about outsourcing and competition with china, all of those themes have been teased out by the democrats in a way that may be disproportionately affecting ohio as to nationally and in even in some of the other battle ground states. >> rose: where is the momentum? >> well i think there are three possible out comes right now, close obama win, close romney win or big romney win and if you talk to some republicans, both connected to the campaign and one step away from the center of the campaign they are starting to talk about the possibility and you see in the republicans movement into pennsylvania, minnesota, and perhaps michigan the possibility that they are not just trying to hedge their bets or trying to expand the map out of desperation but a real belief this thing could be bigger, an oregon polls that show the shows the race close, certainly closer than the
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president won four years ago i think the momentum is with romney and the obama people are not just spinning when they say, look, out of that first debate in denver he doesn't have momentum where he overwhelmed us he brought home the base be does president's in number has not chanced by any means but pretty pistol hid and that means governor romney has upward momentum or has had it, maybe that has stalled we don't really though but the president does not have bad momentum he is not collapsing in any way, i think that the momentum in this race can has always been difficult to pull off because we have so many people decided, whatever you think the model is accurate, whatever model you think accurately decide how many persuadable voters there are, it is a small must be so momentums is measures in ins tens of thousands rather than a mass swing. >> rose: do the republicans in this race more enthuse wraferk than the democrats? >> i think they are, if you look, you read all of the
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polling data in a sophisticated way, and you go out in the country and go to events, i don't think there is think doubt, it is certainly the kay that republicans are more enthused than they were four years ago when john mccain was the rom knee even with palin as part of the ticket that is unambiguously true, it is surely the case the republicans are more enthused with mitt romney and against the president than they have been all year, still a lot of enthusiasm for president and it is common if you go out to any of the president's events and you have seen events four years ago it is effortless to say this isn't like it was four years ago. but power years ago was off the charts. >> rose: yes. >> there is still a lot of enthusiasm for the president. if you look at the economy, the president shouldn't be in this race, and a big part of the reason he is in the race is governor romney had some question fish, deficiencies but a big reason he is in the race is tens of millions of americans love this president, think he a has done a great job and are determined to see him reelected. >> rose: rather than those who have the different tact, they
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expected more, unhappy about the results, but i am not yet convinced they want to not vote for him because they are unsure about the other people person? >> that's a big group too but if you are talk about the people going to rallies and at the phone banks and killing themselves this last week to make sure the president is reelected, they have never had any doubt, they think he has done a great job and they love him and want him to be reelected, they are also concerned about governor romney, that middle group, the group that is not part of the campaign day to day but ll vote, they now see governor rom think as acceptable, it pretty much has been one variable in the race, will governor romney be seen as a electable. >> rose: not for everybody. >> certainly people in ohio are still wondering about that. >> rose: and women. >> sure. request this working class people, women, there are tens of millions of americans or whom that is still an open question, i think in the battleground states, hundreds of thousand. >> rose: and i have had some people sit at this table and
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tell me the following. if governor romney loses, and they go to write the book that defines the campaign, one thing that will be paramount is how he did not respond to attacks that took place against him from a large part of the obama campaign budget after the convention. >> well and even before i would go back to the spring when the president's allies were defining him as an out of touch plutocrat with secret tax returns and offshore bank accounts. >> rose: why did they let that happen? >> well. >> i mean it is a great question. if they win it will hook like they amended it brilliantly, right in so, and i think he had a decent chance to win. i think they believed they were difficult attacks to respond to and attacks they didn't have the resources to respond to at that point. >> rose: because at that time super pac money hadn't kicked in? >> the campaign itself then't have money because they had to spend only money for the
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nomination and hot the election. >> rose: so in other words it could only kick in after the nomination? >> right. but there are other variables include governor romney wasn't comfortable doing the kinds of things they did at the convention. i mean, one of the big mysteries which i still have not unraveled is at the convention, you had testimonials from these families who dealt with governor romney when he was engaging in, engaging in extraordinarily generous and personal acts of kind tons their family, we didn't see him before the convention, we barely have seen him since the convention, they were amongst the most powerful and emotional aspects of the convention. >> rose: you were close, you thought of this every day why can't you asked the question buy can't you run those commercials. >> they are doing some of them now. >> rose: you don't see them nearly as sufficient as you might have expected when you look at the impact. >> i think there were internal divisions, including romney itself, himself. >> rose: what is the internal division within the romney camp? >> i don't know 35 is any now, i think the denver debate solved a hot of problems for them, including any reporting of
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divisions, i think some of the reporting of divisions has been exaggerated, i think tws actually a relatively close-knit group, given the pressures they have been under all year where for weeks, they they were being criticized. just go back to the momentum question and this goes back to, and speaks to the internal division storyline. one of the poll numbers that has turned around pretty dramatically is, yes, people, regardless of who you are going to vote for who do you think will win and clearly governor romney has made progress both in favorable and unfavorable rating and in who do you any is going to win? the more people think the president is going to win, but depending on which poll you look at the gap narrowed dramatically, you must have that be relatively narrow in order to win and that is a sign of momentum and it takes a lot of pressure off the campaign in boston. >> rose: these things have come out of these kinds of polls, number one, who do you think will make the best leader, governor romney, had you been 2, who do you think will handle the economy better? governor romney. number 3, who do you think cares more about you? >> president obama. >> right.
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>> rose: must be 4 who is better in foreign policy? >> president obama. >> rose: right. >> what would you add to that? those are the basic kind of -- >> well there is a different variations of cares about people, who understands the middle class. i thought all along, governor romney on those questions, those character and trade questions, governor romney needed to do three things. on cares about you, understands the middle class be closer than he could have been, he couldn't lose those by large double digit margins and narrowed those. couldn't win them, had no narrow them. had plans for the economy needed a significant lead. the president has been ahead at times, kind of remarkable and three is, is favorable, unfavorable, governor romney went into the general election season based on most polls as the worst nominee of either party ever in terms of do you like this person or not? do you think of them favorably, unfavorably, he has really improved and in fact in some polling he went past the president on that measure. and that is to go back to the
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question of what is the one dynamic of this campaign? would he be seen as acceptable? i think he improved enough to be acceptable he has not been destroyed the way kerry was destroyed. the swift boat commercials. >> and by punishable sizing his saying i was for it before i was against it and the video of windsurfing and all of that, remember, the perception was, kerry was destroyed by bush and that's how he won, the switch i will give you 120,000 votes in kerry would have won storks even though the bush people are widely thought to have completely destroyed kerry, he almost won, i don't think you could say that the real estate's campaign has done as effective a clinical, political, you know, death squad job on mitt romney as the bush people did on john kerry and that's why i think governor romney has a decent chance to which. >> rose: what might they have done that they didn't do? >> well that is a great question, because they did a lot, i don't know the an to that, i don't know the answer to that, so maybe he did do it
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sufficiently. i think the big debate, and you have seen something about this already is is should they go after him as a right wing extremist or a flip flopper and in the end they have spent most of their rhetoric prethe denver debate on right wing extremist. there are those who think, well they would have been better off following the bush model even more precisely, the bush reelect model and gone after him simply as a flip flopper, a guy you can't trust. >> rose: there is also been on the part of at least two republican candidates embarrassing opinions about rape and abortion. among many people, especially women. does that have a market? does it have an impact, it clearly led romney to disavow any connection in terms of his own philosophy to what was said. >> well i would say in the minds of some he didn't disavow enough. >> do you think he did? what he did was basically say i disassociate myself with those remarks, yet he did not say i will not continue to support
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that candidate. >> right and he is allowing his image to be where you would in a commercial for him. >> murdoch in indiana. i think the biggest effect is the democrats may win those two senate seats and that may be the difference between control, majority control of the senate. in terms of a national message, the press is sympathetic to that storyline on the democratic side and certainly have gotten a lot of coverage for it, in the end, i think that while it may have rallied some support for the president and the democrats, in the end, i think the winner is going to be. >> rose: do you think the press is sympathetic to that? >> no, no. but it helps, though. >> let me be clear two, horrible, unacceptable remarks that should have been repudiated by everyone, on the issue where i think the press's sympathies or the tempt position gives it wider coverage than your normal controversy, zero not that it is an important issue but -- >> rose: two men running for
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senate of the united states saying things like that? >> senate candidate say crazy things all over the country. >> and on this issue it gets wider coverage and yet i this at this whicher of the election is the one who talks most convincingly about the economy and most convincingly about the future and dealing with the debt and the deficit and i think days democrats spend on this issue have helped them with some voters for sure, and maybe they felt they were doing the right thing morally, but i am not sure it helped them as best it could have to achieve their ultimate goal which is winning the election by talking about the future. >> rose: so in many ways, i saw something that chris rock had said actually in playbook today, which was interesting he said here is a guy who did this, this, and this, and yet everybody tells him not to run on his record. and you talk about osama bin laden and he talked about gm and all of those kind of things yet people are saying don't run on the record, if it was a referendum on his record he will lose. >> well, i think the president talks about all of the things
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chris rock tweeted about in the convention, and in the campaigns communications, elections are about the future, not about the past and i think the most significant poll number in the last two weeks, i don't think you and i have discussed this is wall street journal, nb. c poll that asked do you want the president is re-elected what do you want it to be like. >> 60 percent say substantially different, over 20 percent said they would like it to be some what different,. >> rose: that is not surprising at all. i would exect that to be what they would say. so chris rock i think would be surprised by that. chris rock would say and the president would say, i did pretty well. the president said in one of the debates i want four more years to do what i have been doing. >> rose: here is what i don't understand. this is really, i have had this conversation with people about different elections. >> karl rove stood with me and said look elections is not a referendum on the past but about the future, they are really amount the future. >> yes. >> the president has known that governor romney has known that, the central criticism of both
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campaigns is a, they do not give you a clear pathway to the future. and my question to you who has written one best seller book and probably selling another, why haven't they talked more in specifics and tried to ignite the voting public? with their vision and their plan for the future? why. >> they would both tell you they had. >> rose: but you write about this every day. and the polls show exactly what you said. >> par partly because we have nt done a good job about making the debate about that. the press, they are sophisticated -- >> rose: we or the debate organizers? >> no, no. overall, overall, daily coverage is focused too much on the superficial and general endemic problem, that is worse and worse. the only thing that matters in the short-term is dealing with the fiscal cliff, if the next -- if the guy is who is wlekted in november doesn't deal with that i the president could could have
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a four-year crippled presidency, it involves the specifics neither wants to engage i in in. >> why? >> because you won't be popular. >> rose: you talk about pain. >> you talk about pain and dealing with it is unpopular. >> rose: that is interesting to me. i thought american public liked people who told them the truth, and were real leaders. >> in the movie bullworth they do. >> rose: well, yes, warren bait at this is a presidential .. candidate but i am talking about what is attractive about john mccain in the beginning was he a straight talk to the press. >> not a lot of specifics about dealing with the real hard things. look, the big challenge the country faces now are all subsumed by the fiscal cliff because we need tax reform, we need entitle. reform, we need to deal with the debt and deficit and job creation in the short-term and focus on to the big issues like energy and immigration but they are all hard. >> rose: don't you think that the public, i am asking, i am real naive about this, they want boldness, they want leadership, they want someon someone that wl level with them or not? in the
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end you think the evidee that the road to believing what the naivete of me is strewn with the bodies of defeated politicians. >> well i am not sure anyone i can think of has tried at the level of specificity that would be required in this case. i don't know that we have any strewn bodies to look at. >> in other words -- >> the bodies nobody would even try it. >> it would be mice if a michael bloomberg had run or somebody could run and put pressure on them, the way per rote, perot put president on bush 41, but perot didn't do it by being particularly specific but did it by talking about the issues. >> rose: focus on the problems. they do a bit of that, the fiscal cliff. >> they do, but i will single out governor romney in one specific but the same applies to the president on a lot of i can, governor romney saidly do them both. romney said repeatedly even when i interviewed him he doesn't
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want to talk about what deduct shunts he would scale back or he limb nana, eliminate because that should be done in the open with congress. it is a ridiculous position because then you say well i am not going to say anything i will do because it should all be negotiated in congress in the light of day. voters need to know what kind of deductions will he scale back and david axelrod said the same thing to me in a television interview about social security he said this is not the time to talk about social security. >> rose: on bowles-simpson they don't reallyay out what they disagree with bowles-simpson. they want a gas tax, don't want a gas tax. >> they think the best thing to do, both of them not be specific and somehow they get enough of a mandate to beat the opponent. >> if you are not bold can you ever argue and have a mandate. >> i think the president will have a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy if he wins and i think governor romney will try to get rid of obama care if he wins and that is about it.
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of any stance but it will be zero complicated by the make-up of congress which will almost certainly be split, republicans keeping the house, democrats keeping the senate, now it is possible democrats may lose the senate now which is a bit of change for me in the last week but -- >> rose: why? >> just some of the races have shifted a little bit. >> rose: the republicans are going to win the house, most people prerogative. >> they will most certainly predict it. there are any democrats that even in private -- >> rose: five points one way or the other? >> it could but -- they are playing defense on too many places. >> rose: i hear you. so the republicans are likely to win the house. >> keep the house. >> rose: boehner returns around the senate could go either way, according to late changes and specific races. there is still half a dozen or more specific races i defy anybody to tell you who is going to win them. >> rose: and nobody knows who is going to win the presidency. there is no strong argument, even though, even though people who and i am thinking specifically, specifically, of
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nate silver, who talks to me at the back end of this program, about if you look at the lead, who has the lead over, 70 percent, five percent of the time that person wisdom the election. that is looking at previous elections. >> here is something about all of the polls this cycle and here is why you have a difference between the two candidate campaigns and some of the public polls. who is going to vote? who is going to vote? the president is relying on low propensity voters, young voters, african-american voters, hispanic voters, single women voters, in the early voting in some states they can point to success and to say, see, our people are going to vote, even though our enthusiasm level is down from four years ago, the mechanics of our turnout are su our people are going to vote, the romney campaign looks at the electorate and says, no we are going to so dominate other groups, white voters, married voters, that we are going to win this election and it may not in the end -- >> rose: does that mean obama is basing his reelection on the new america? andomney is basing his election on the old
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america in the same way that during -- former secretary of defense rumsfeld once said there was a new europe and old europe. >> demographically, certainly you can kind of in bold strokes talk about it that way but a president would like an old american votes and romney would like a lott of new american votes. but in the main they are relying on their support for different groups, and the republicans are right that the president has a tougher task in the sense that his big groups are lower propensity voters, they are just less likely to vote left to their own devices. the to get those people to vote and they already demonstrated that with some of the early voting. but you can't, i don't think you can look at polls sensibly that differ like this when they are both within striking distance of -- the two biggest numbers i look at in the polls right now besides some of the attributes we talk about where is the president? some of some of
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these polls 47 or below in the horse race, nationally and in the battleground states, if that is where he is, i don't think he will win. in some of the polls he is at 49, 50. if that is where he, is he will win. of and it depends won is in those polls, who are they kidding the, the other big number is independents and a lot of these polls where the president is doing very well, governor romney is doing extraordinarily well with independents, in part because those polls contain larger number of democrats than some people think will actually comprise, may be comprise the electorate, so how many and how are they doing on independents, where is the 43's horse race number knows are the things people should look at regardless of poll, and tax i think is a lot more useful than who is ahead f. >> rose: all right. two last questions. one, what is the biggest surprise of this campaign for you? >> well, i am work on a piece for our election issue about that. i have a list of ten i am working on. >> rose: give me the top five for god's sake. >> i don' i don't want to do al.
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>> rose: give me three. >> i will give you three. that is easiest one that than one. we have an african-american and a mormon running, two groups historically, a lot of historic discrimination and almost no talk of that and i think that is fantastic for the country. obviously there is some sub text out there but that is a big surprise. two is, you have got huge amounts of money being spent but for the first time in my career, neither side is claiming well we have to win despite being badly out spent, they are basically just saying there is so much money on both sides it doesn't matter. historically both sides have argued we are being out spent, money is saying that in any serious way and sustained way that is a big surprisement. and i think the last thing is, that governor romney was able to take one, 90 minute period and change the race completely, you just never have seen anything like that in our life times, that that was on an absolute certain trajectory, both sides privately would agree and he made the race competitive after
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years of campaigns for president, after the convention, after all of those debates, nomination debates, after strategies and all sort of efforts to change hinges in 90 minutes he did it. >> rose: thank you. mark halperin from time magazine, also as many of you know wrote, co-ed for of the book that was, in fact, the most popular book about the 2008 campaign called game change. back in a moment stay with us. force divorce. >> rose: hate silver is here, he is a statistician, a writer and founder of "the new york times" political blog fivethirtyeight.com, at 25 he developed a revolution system for predicting the performance of professional baseball players and has since turned his eye to predicting political elections in 2008 he accurately forecast 49 out of 50 states in the presidential election and all 35 senate races. he w wtes ababut the art and science of prediction and the signal and the noise, by so many
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predictions, why so many predictions fail and some don't i am pleased to have nate silver back at this table, welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> so where do you based on your polling, see the presidential race at this moment? >> we have obama as a modest favorite still and i should say it is not my polling what we go is look at everyone easels poll and average them together and think about the electorial college if you look at ohio still, obama is ahead in most polls of ohio he is ahead in most polls of iowa, wisconsin, and nevada as well and those four states. >> rose: by two or three points. >> two or three-point not an overwhelming margin but you can look historically and how often does a candidate who has a two or three-point lead in an election, does he how often does he convert that to a win and the answer is about 75 percent of the time. >> rose: so you said 75 percent likely obama will be elected? >> that's right because the states are what we call the tipping point states that would swing the electorial college margin he has a two or three-point lead, so it is not for sure but we can use
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statistics and data that just look up how often those lead translate into a win. > > rose: zero so is critical point here is that many people say paul, david brooks wrote a column. >> sure. >> as you know basically saying a poll is a paragraph of a moment in time. >> right. >> rose: period. >> uh-huh. >> rose: no prophecy from that. >> my understanding, what you say is, yes, no prophecy, but you can look and reference it to other times and with similar circumstances existed and then project forward. >> that's right, so and the way we look at it is the confidence should increase the closer you get to election day so if you look at polls in june, and june of 1988 michael dukakis was way ahead of bush, john kerry was ahead of gore, so polls in the spring and summer aren't very useful and you might look at what kind of economic conditions are like and things like that instead but we are only a week away from the election now, and it is unlikely you will have major shifts in the campaign from this point forward, by a week from now that little margin of error will be even less but
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we can use history, it is not that challenging to do at this point to say, most voters are locked in and you might have in who high owe some polls have three or four percent of voters who are still undecided and some of these polls by the way obama is at 50 percent which means romney could win all of the undecides and only tie the potentially, so it is nothing for sure, there are years when the polling has been off, but -- >> then why a are polls all over the place? not every poll has obama winning in ohio. >> first if you look at the whole group of polls we have a two-point romney lead to a five or six-point obama lead, the average is going to do better a than any one poll individual think, polling is difficult now, because you can only get about ten percent of people on the money, polls are hoping that those people who they do get are representative of the ones whom they don't get, different views about who will turn out and who won't, about the, differ on the democrat grafnls and statistical uncertainty as well.
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>> depending on the model the poll uses will affect the result. >> a different hype these almost. >> .. if you assume a more vigorous turnout because obama has good ground game for example those have him winning, no more at that like opportunity thousand ten environment where republican enthusiasm prevail they have a very tight in ohio instead. >> rose: okay. but do you say when you look at all of these polls, i have noted you are a statistician, you noted in the polling you measure other polls? >> rightment. >> rose: do you measure them all together orr say we have ten polls out there, some may be better than others? we have a tradition and history, others may be fly-by-night. >> we do partially discriminate or discriminate is wrong the term wrong term. >> rose: the probability of the poll. >> if this stress a better track record and a better methodology if a member of a professional polling methodology, the other important thing by the way is do you call voters who have cell phones only? about a third of
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american households now don't have a land line in their homes, some polls that are on the cheap will skip those voters entirely kind of effectively disenfranchising them we found polls that do include cellphones as you should, tend to have slightly better results for presidenpresident obama. >> rose: i think they would tip toward the young or not? >> well, both cellphones and land lines if you don't include cellphones you will miss younger voters and urban minorities, all democratic leaning groups. >> rose: the gallup poll in year, it seems to be a little bit different. >> yeah. >> and it has shown a national lead for governor romney. >> clearly, if the gal hundred poll is right then the swing states won't matter, if romney wins the popular vote by three or four points then he is going to manage to win enough of the swing states. >> rose: let's be clear though if romney wins the popular vote by four or five points, then he will also win enough of the swing states to win the election because the premise being that
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the swing states won't be that much different from -- >> ohio is a swing state for a reason in that it resemitbls united states, microsome, microcosm, urban areas, you could have a case where romney wins the popular vote by one point and obama wins high row in iowa by one point that is possible, maybe one or two-point shift, but there is hmm no way to look at the history of this country or try to do the more complex things i do mathematical models of it, very unlikely to have win the popular by four or five point and lose the electorial poll. >> rose: why go the polls show romney winning the national vote and not winning the majority of swing states? >> well i should say gallup is something of an exception, if you look at the average of polls, for example, the abc news washington post poll has am exactly tied race nationally, wall street journal poll has a tide race. >> say that then, but the swing states, if they are tied, i mean if the national poll is tied why
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should didn't swing states be that way, if they are essentially copying the national bowls? >> because to me to have a tie versus a two-point lead for obama in ohio which is where we have ohio that is not that big of a difference this ohio wow might have a circumstance hike for example the auto bailouts which have played well, i think for the president in that state. also to a state where they have been targeting for a year now, and as in 2008 the obama campaign has more people knocking on doors and making money calls, so the voter outreach things is why they may do better than say, ohio than in the state they haven't focused on like missouri. >> rose: we just went through hurricane sandy. >> yes. >> rose: what impact might it have? >> well, see this is where we are going more into major speculation and i want to be more careful. i think the general wisdom gom of the political science literature is that when there is some kind of a disaster, it is usually easier for the incumbent zero to occupy that space, that is a national function of government. >> rose: meaning that the
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incumbent gains something because he is in a seat of power and, therefore, he is even responding to an emergency. >> that obama can go and staley stay in washington, d.c. and monitor the disaster, right, and the press corps will treat that a as being appropriate and presidential strategy where romney goes and has. >> rose: a fund raiser. >> a fund raise never ohio and say it is just a campaign rally, so maybe it reflects bias media coverage but it does put him in more of a corner. >> has there been and is it still a momentum for governor romney that came out of the first geability in denver? >> so .. we perceived, we don't perceive anymore momentum for romney, and let me define momentum, how we would think of it and that means are you still making gapes in the polls? and what we found a is that romney gained for a couple of weeks, after denver to make it a very close race, and then kind of got is you can, in fact, maybe there is a half a point -- rose: my impression there
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is clearly impression i don't make a study of this, romney is doing better than he was in ohio and it didn't just stop after the first two weeks. >> well,. >> rose: steady -- >> when we first released our forecast in ohio in june, we had obama winning there by one point, now she ahead by two points. i think there is clear evidence of momentum for romney in florida, for example,. >> rose: right. >> and north carolina, maybe, some of those -- >> rose: and the other way zero, virginia is the other way for obama. >> virginia and colorado, even if he wins ohio he is still not home free, where florida, and virginia and colorado look still, still shaky must have for him, in fact, virginia has a j obama has a slight lead now. >> rose: you suggest by looking at the numbers that the predictions, your words, that you made after the june, when you began doing this in june forecast perhaps is what you would say? it is the same now as it was then. >> yes. so i in all 50 states when we launched our model june based
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on the polling at that time, we have the same leader, we had romney a little by ahead in florida, north carolina, as we do now, we had obama a little bit ahead in virginia, colorado, hi owe, ohio, ohio as we do now, so there has been a lot of tumult in this race up and down, but, you know, we live in a country where easily 90 percent of voters are going to make hair decision just based on which party the candidate belong to, then like the debates and the conventions, democrats who probably were never going to vote for romney uh but were not ready to split to obama, a good speech by obama and michelle and bubye-bye den and they come on board. >> rose: that the did not give them as much of an advantage as they expected? >> i don't know, given that you only had eight percent of undecided voters then and the democratic leaning ones and romney gets his share after a good debate in denver there is evidence by the way rom in i made more gains -- >> rose: but were all of tho people who went to romney after in terms of polling, after the
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denver debate, were they people that were in an undecided column or were they people who were leaning to, say, the president? >> so more than, more were probably undecided voters, i think you still have a few soft undecided voters who may have flipped, but -- >> rose: soft supporting voters who may have flipped from one side to the other. >> but the problem is they might change their mind even at the last, even at the last minute, potentially so you can gain from that undecided pool sometimes those are more valuable gains in a way, i mean there is no doubt that had the debate not gone well for romney you might have had a different trajectory and republans pulling money out of this campaign to try and save the senate, potentially, so rom think put this back on trajectory where it is going to be a very close heck, but still, given where the economy is, given where the president's approval ratings and how and how people feel about the country, it should not be surprising the election is close so the analogy i give is to sports, where if a
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team in a basketball became has a three-point lead. >> rose: going into the fourth quarter. >> going into the fourth quarter right or into the last two-minute of the fourth quarter, we are that close to the end now then of course it is not always going to win and of course it should be surprised appropriately as a close game but it has a edge and you want to be the team with the three-point lead than three-points behind. >> is that the way you see this race, the way you describe the basketball game. >> i think the sports metaphors game the politics out of politics and help people to understand the probability more. >> rose: that's where you came transaction baseball. >> that's right so-so for he it is a little more natural, i think, to be, not that i don't have my own political views but to be a little more arm's-length are this stuff and to know if you predict baseball we predicted the results for 700 ma players ever real estate year and you know you will blow -- >> rose: results in which way. >> statistics for 700 players every year. >> rose: yes. >> and you will have some great predictions and some bad ones. the problem with politics is that you only get one crack at the apple every four years since it is a presidential race so for
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better or worse, i have a lot on the line, but to me, it is just an interesting problem this is one data point we are going to experience very slowly. >> you have heard this criticism, joe scar bro says you are an ideologue and a joke, the notion of 73, 74 percent, was simply silly and then you fired back and said, that joe was math challenged. >> >> owe is not using a lot of different subject that i learned in school. he is not using math, number one, whe you can actually say how often does a two-point lead hold up? he is not using history in the sense you can actually use historical data to inform your opinion about thing. and so i think there are very -- he is in civics, and not the electorial college. >> are you saying, you know, basically all i am arguing is that if you look at elections in the past, when somebody has had obama's lead by the average of the polls, 75 percent of the
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time that person wins? is that it. >> that's all we are saying. it is a real simple -- >> rose: it is fundamental, isn't it? >> real fundamental, at this, at this point in time our model averages the polls and simulates the electorial college. >> and looks at the previous polls in all of the previous elections. >> exactly. >> an what we have now matches what is back then the incumbent won or the person who was ahead in the polls won? >> uh-huh, that's all we are doing. >> rose: why then are you so controversial? >> i don't know, i think because we have this forecast which is varied, which is very stable, we have had obama ahead by about the same margin all year in the states as you mentioned. i think sometimes pundits like to create the impression things are wildly changing every minute and states are coming into play and dropping out of play, when usually most voters are basing their votes on pretty solid fundamental things, the economy. >> rose: go ahead. so. >> so they are not flipping as much as maybe the conventional
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wisdom might -- i think i get a lot of grief because i frustrate narratives that are told by jowmpl lists that don't have a lot of frowning in objective reality, frankly. >> rose: the other argument is against you is that you are biased that you acknowledge you favor the president and that, therefore, that creeps. >> rose: the numbers you look at. >> well, wrote intend to vote this rear. >> rose: you have -- oh, really? >> yeah, i don't -- since i joined the times i haven't voted. >> rose: they don't let you vote if you join the times. >> no it is my addition, it doesn't mean i don't have political viewtz. >> rose: political views do favor the views of the real estate rather than the views of governor rom think. >> i would say i am somewhere between a libertarian and a liberal, it would be gary johnston versus mitt romney decision, i suppose. but i do think we designed this model in -- >> rose: it is how close liberals are to libertarians. >> designed this model in the spring before we had any sense
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for how these polls would play out. we don't change the models. it is the same million dollars that in 2010 said the republicans were going to do very well this the outstanding, actually underestimateed their baines in the senate, i think a lot of people in politics don't really have, don't really have a lot of confidence about their own ability to perceive the truth, i think a lot of people tonight have maybe a lot of sense that the truth matters, and so to them, everything is thin if you talking to someone's whose entire purpose is to spin results in a favorable way as they possibly can for their campaigns then they assume that everyone else is tainted by the same disease that they have, and there is no objective attempt to perceive reality or we go the other extreme where you have the kind of he said, she said style of a lot of journalist coverage which i think also does a disservice to people. >> rose: that would have to happen for governor romney to win. >> well, i think it is it probably comes down to turnout where the polls are agreed that if every registered voter turned
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out obama would certainly win but how much more enthusiastic will romney supporters be? will obama have more of an advantage in the swing states with this ground game stuff we talked about than in other states, potentially, there years when the polls have been off, in 1980 jimmy carter was supposed to be in a close race with ronald reagan and lost in a landslide. >> rose: was that because there was a late minute switch to reagan or because they similar my did the polls badly? >> probably a combination of both, i think now polls use what are called likely voter models and do account for will persons actually vote? tha that was ls common this the 1980s and you had years where the polls would underestimate how much republican enthusiasm there might be, usually the republicans are more enthuse stic, a little easier to group and get pout to the polls than democrats are. >> rose: how do you factor in also this notion david brooks again, that said that somehow polls do not -- polls are often in error because they can't measure human behavior?
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>> well, polls do, it is kind of like any type of economic data, where if you look -- >> rose: human behavior? >> if you look at the bls reports, economic data, it is based on survey data, right? and people's interpretations of do they have a job now might be subjected to some degree but we can go and lack and say, how accurate are those jobs reports as an indicator of the overall economy, so to me it is an empirical question how accurate are the polls, we know in president comul primaries for example polls miss all the time, we have to be much more careful but we do know based on half a century's worth of data about how accurate polls are in general elections. >> rose: so the signal and the noise why so many predictions fail and some don't? what is answer to that question? >> i think part of the reason the predictions fail is that people want a perfect answer to things, they want certainty, they want 100 percent answers hereas usually when you think of terms in probabilities you have more success because there are limbs on what we know, and what we don't know, and a lot of
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predictions are about separating out those two things, here is all of the information we have, based on the information, here is the percentage i think we will is have a hurricane in new york and the subways will be flooded here are the knowns and unknowns programs the unknown, knowns potentially and to try to reconcile the difference between this big crazy university we exist in and our knowledge of it, you meet somewhere between and that is with probability. it doesn't work very well in the world of punditry sometimes. >> rose: and separating the signal and the noise means what? >> it means learning how to work with information, to perceive where the real central is there. i think sometimes people tend to over rate the margin of new data that they see, where you see so many economic statistics, so many polls, people tend to go a little haywire and change their views about the economy or the election every few minutes. in fact, it is usually better to realize that any one poll is not all that good, an indicator just like any one economic statistic
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but if you take them all together and they also show the same story that nine out of ten of the polls in ohio, not everyone but nine of the last ten show obama ahead, that is becomes more meaningful. >> the unemployment rate has dipped down below eight percent in 1-b ls accounting yet there are also a range of the statistical evidence nobody has been elected reelected if in the previous four years the unemployment rate was over eight percent. does that mean anything to you? >> well, you had fdr reelected, back in mean 36 with an unemployment rate near 13 percent and the reason why is the trajectory had been favorable, because it had been 20 percent, so. >> rose: so the exception is where is the trajectory? >> and the other thing is we are on the one hand, you are not that far from some allowing presidents but not that far there reagan where unemployment was in the low to mid seven when voters went to the polls in 1984
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and he didn't squeak out a win over walter mondale and won by 18 points. >> rose: there is a premium in today's world for the ability to assess the data that is coming in. >> yeah, and you see this everywhere from sports to technology, to every other field, and people often make mistakes, we aren't used to having this much information at our disposal so we tend to get enamored by all of the noise sometimes, it is easier to staley trust the one poll, because in will tell me the truth when, in reality, one poll is really noise city, and when you put them together you actually get some predictability there. >> so if my father was here listening, my late father was listening to me talk to you he would say, okay, what did you predict for the world series? >> well, i am a detroit tigers fan. >> rose: so? >> so i didn't try to make an objective prediction, sports, baseball, tigers, i allowed the
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bias to color my prediction. >> rose: with the bias. >> yes, yes, yes, that was disappointing, absolutely. >> rose: and four games, it must have made it worse. >> yes, they wilt add built under the pressure there, i think. >> rose: or they had good pitching on the other side. >> well, it is a well constructed team but if you look at the vegas lines. >> rose: nate silver. fivethirtyeight.com. thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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>> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting this program since 2002. and american express. additional funding provided by these funders. and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. be more, pbs.
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